Spring internships might seem like a long way away, but now is a great time to begin prepping for them. Internships can be incredible opportunities to dip your toes into an industry you are passionate about. Preparation for the search and application process can help to put you ahead of other potential interns. With all of the benefits that come from internships, take your time to find something you can really get excited about. Spring internship preparation can be incredibly intimidating. Here are five different things you should focus on to push you further along your research process.
Update Your Résumé and Portfolio
Before approaching any internship opportunities, make sure your ducks are all in a row when it comes to your résumé and portfolio. Run your résumé by multiple different people. If you know anyone who has experience with conducting interviews and reading résumés, ask them to look over yours and give you feedback. If you don’t have a résumé, sit down with a peer or school adviser. They can help your organize and summarize all of your work experience and skills. This is the perfect way to kick off your spring internship preparation.
Come Up With a Primary Interest List of Companies
This can be as easy as swiping through brands you may follow on Instagram or scrolling through LinkedIn recommendations. With any kind of internship, it’s important to find a company that you are passionate about. It isn’t always about the type of internship you get. What you can gain from the experience is the opportunity to work with new people and create connections. Create a primary interest list and use it as a starting point. After compiling the list, reach out to people who work for these companies. Even if the company isn’t exactly the industry you’re hoping to enter or job title you want, you can gain valuable skills from the experience.
Take Advantage of School Resources
Universities provide great resources to help their students gain experience in their intended field. Schedule an appointment with an expert from the career center at your school to talk about what your passions are and how you can incorporate them into an internship position. School advisers have so many resources that can help you feel less alone in your research.
If your school has an alumnae database, take a look through that. This connection can help start a conversation that could lead to internship opportunities. Even major/minor advisers can help you with your internship search. As college professors, they have numerous connections to a field you may be interested in entering after college or may have connections from experiences prior to teaching at your university. There is a lot of potential than can come from just having a conversation with someone who has been in your same position. These are the type of people who are perfect for helping you in your spring internship preparation.
Reach out to Individuals
A single conversation can go a long way. Ask family and friends if they know anyone who is currently working or has worked in the field you are interested in. Just sitting down to chat over a cup of coffee can help you understand how to jump into the industry. It’s also a great way to make new connections. Taking a moment to formulate relationships with new people allows you to stick in their mind so that they know to reach out to you if they see any opportunities.
Seeking out mentors can be incredibly valuable in making the internship and job search less scary. There is also no loss in just cold calling or emailing someone you don’t know but who holds a position that you would like to have someday. Many people are thrilled to hear that someone is interested in what they are doing. Feel free to reach out to someone you may look up to for advice. They could end up being a valuable reference to help you get that dream job you really want.
Keep an Open Mind
Internships allow individuals to approach an industry they’re passionate about in a very hands-on way. You can’t predict what skills you’ll learn from an internship experience. Try not to limit yourself with your internship search. These positions encourage failure so that you can learn from your mistakes. Consider taking a risk and applying for a position or a company that you wouldn’t have originally thought of in your spring internship preparation. You never know what you could learn or what connections you could make from the experience.
What spring internship preparation are you starting right now? Do you have other questions? Comment below!
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